MORE Festive Appetizers {9 of them!} for Holiday Entertaining (with Recipes)

It’s almost time for Christmas y’all! (AND if you know my Mom, wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!)

If you haven’t finalized your holiday menus, maybe you can find a little inspiration here. Published a year ago tomorrow, my original post, “6 Festive Appetizers for Holiday Entertaining (With Recipes)” has been the most read post EVER on my blog. With that said, I am always looking for new fun appetizer ideas – and apparently others are too, especially around the holidays. I thought it might be fun to do a ‘Volume 2!

I hope you find these recipes (and yummy photos) as enticing as I did. My husband loves pickle sandwiches (they are quite southern, dahlings), and the poppyseed dressing ham and cheese sliders are ALWAYS a good go-to for entertaining from tailgates to cocktail parties. The drunken pimento cheese is a YUMMO recipe created by one of my oldest friends, and the individual buffalo cups recipe I found in search of a buffalo dip we had at a fabulous holiday shindig thrown by our dear friends Taylor and Matt this weekend.

Oh and speaking of shindigs, here is a picture of Van and I before the party… It was a costume party with a Christmas character theme…can you guess what I was? I didn’t even know there was going to be a contest, but I won first runner up!


It really was such a fun party theme…there were fabulous costumes – a shepherd and a sheep, characters from The Christmas Story, Elf, Bridget Jones and Rudolph, and even Marv & Harry from Home Alone (the winner of the ladies and 1st runner up for the gents):


But you didn’t click this link to read about party costumes, did you? You wanted to know about party FOOD, didn’t you? Well here you go! Happy entertaining!


{ Christmas Tree Pita Pinwheels from Trial & Eater }


{ Posh Piggies from Recipes & Me }


Oh my, I’m obsessed and can’t wait to make one of these…

{ Christmas Tree Antipasto Tower from Redhead Can Decorate }


{ Drunken Pimento Cheese from Barbells and Bellinis }


{ Glazed Kielbasa Bites from Real House Moms }


{ Buffalo Chicken Cups from Gimme Some Oven }


{ Pickle Sandwiches }


{ Ham & Cheese Sliders from The Girl Who Ate Everything }


{ Caramel Apple Grapes from Very Culinary }


Happy Holidays everyone! Hope Santa is good to you and you have a wonderful time celebrating the season (but don’t forget the reason!!)…The full recipes can all be found at the very end of this post, and links to the original recipe locations are found with each photo above. Merry Christmas!


For More Holiday Ideas & Inspiration from The Olive Shoe, check out one of these:



The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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And (drumroll please) now for the recipes….


{ Christmas Tree Pita Pinwheels from Trial & Eater }

Prep time

30 mins

Total time

30 mins


Recipe type: Appetizer

Serves: 6-12



  • (Use half these ingredients for a shorter, 5 tiered tree, as pictured)
  • 1 package (6 pieces) spinach tortillas
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) garden vegetable cream cheese
  • 12-18 slices provolone (or other variety) cheese
  • 3 cups spinach
  • Small grape tomatoes, as garnish


  1. Spread cream cheese over a spinach tortilla.
  2. Add 2 or 3 slices of cheese on top of cream cheese.
  3. Use about ½ cup of spinach to spread in the middle of unrolled tortilla.
  4. Roll tightly. For a tighter roll, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Repeat above steps for the rest of the tortilla wraps.
  6. Remove plastic wrap and cut into 1 inch slices, or about 8 pinwheels per tortilla.
  7. Stack pinwheels in the shape of a Christmas tree. For the tree pictured, the first layer has 8 pinwheels, the second has 6, then 5, 3, and 1.


The christmas tree pita pictured was made using only half these ingredients. If you want more than a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, the specified amounts above will give you a taller tree!


{ Posh Piggies from Recipes & Me }



1 Lbs. – Sweet Italian Sausage Links

1 – Sheet Puff Pastry (thawed)

1 – Egg

2 Tbs. – Mayonnaise

2 Tbs. – Dijjonaise

¼ cup – apricot jelly


Cut the sausage links into 36 half- inch slices; brown the meat on both sides in a frying pan over medium high heat. No need to fully cook at this time, all you want is to get both sides a little crispy. Set aside on a plate to cool while you get the pastry ready. Lay the pastry out on your work surface then break the egg into a small dish and brush the entire surface of the pastry. Using a mini cookie cutter (I used a star) cut out 36 shapes from the pastry. Place the meat onto a baking sheet and cover each one with a piece of pastry and secure in place with a tooth pick. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. While the piggies are baking mix the jelly, mayo and mustard in a small dish, these are good served hot, warm and room temp. Dip and enjoy!

Read More at © Recipes & Me


{ Appetizer Tree from Redhead Can Decorate }

This is what you will need

Plate or cake stand

Styrofoam cone (the larger the party, the larger the cone)

Tooth picks & a little shot glass for used tooth picks

Plastic wrap

Olives, pickles, cheese cubes , ham cubes or rolls, tomatoes, etc. (I used artichokes on the other one, use what you have.)


Wrap cone in plastic wrap so your food doesn’t touch the cone.  Get all your ingredients out, and cut the cheese/ham into cubes.  You can start at the top or the bottom, and you can insert the food any way you like.  I did notice my second tree looked better when I did the same ingredient in rows.

{Drunken Pimento Cheese from Barbells & Bellinis }

Yield: makes about 2.5 lbs (for a party, reduce as necessary)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: None, just mixing
Total Time: 30 minutes

 16 oz sharp cheddar
8 oz Monterrey Jack
8 oz Havarti cheese
8 oz cream cheese (softened at room temp)
7 oz Pimentos
3 roasted red peppers diced
1 large jalapeno diced (you can remove seeds and membrane to reduce spice)
1/2 c. Dukes mayonnaise
1 tbsp garlic powder
Couple shakes of Worcestershire
5 oz bourbon


In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, garlic powder, softened cream cheese, Worcestershire and bourbon. Mix well with a hand mixer (you could probably also use a blender or and immersion blender). In a larger bowl, combine rest of the ingredients. Pour in the cream cheese and mayonnaise combination and mix well with a soft spatula or a wooden spoon (I don’t recommend a hand mixer for this part). Store in fridge.


{ Glazed Kielbasa Bites from Real House Moms }

These are the perfect make ahead, bite sized appetizer. It has a sweet and salty flavor that people can’t stop eating.


Author: Aubrey

Recipe type: Appetizer

Serves: 10



  • 2 lbs. kielbasa, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 14 oz can pineapple slices, in juice, quartered
  • 3 T teriyaki sauce
  • 1 T sweet chili sauce
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T pineapple juice (from can)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place a piece of pineapple on top of a slice of kielbasa and stick a toothpick into them
  3. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
  5. Place kielbasa bites onto the baking sheet
  6. Brush glaze over tops and sides of bites
  7. Place in oven and cook for 15 to 20 min (keeping an eye on them)
  8. Remove and enjoy hot!

{ Buffalo Chicken Cups from Gimme Some Oven }

Yield: 24 cups

You’ll love this Buffalo Chicken Cups recipe. It’s simple to prepare, and serves as a brilliant appetizer for special occasions — and perfect for game day!

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 40 mins Total: 45 mins


  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cayenne hot sauce (I recommend Frank’s “Red Hot”)
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Brush chicken breasts with olive oil, and then sprinkle evenly with the smoked paprika and chili powder. Place in a baking dish and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the center is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Remove chicken and let cool, then shred.

Meanwhile, fit a wonton wrapper into each of 24 mini baking cups, pressing the wrappers carefully but firmly into sides of cups. (Be careful to keep the corners of each wonton wrapper open; otherwise you will not be able to fill them!) Bake for 5 minutes or until very lightly browned. Keep wontons in baking cups.

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the melted butter and hot sauce. Add the chicken and stir until well coated. Then fill each wonton cup with a tablespoon or two of chicken, and then top with a pinch of blue cheese. Return wonton cups to oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is soft and melty. Remove and top with sliced scallions, and serve warm. These are best served immediately.

Ali’s Tip:

If you’d like to save a step, you can easily substitute a rotisserie chicken for this recipe.  Just shred it, and follow the steps to mix it with the hot sauce, etc.

Difficulty: Easy Ingredients: blue cheese, butter, chicken breasts, chili powder, hot sauce, scallions, smoked paprika, wonton wrappers

{ Ham and Cheese Sliders from The Girl Who Ate Everything }

Tip: You NEED the Sweet Rolls!


24 good white dinner rolls
24 pieces good honey ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip

Poppy seed sauce (you probably could half this…I had plenty extra)
1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

** sandwiches can be assembled a day ahead and kept in the fridge ready to bake.


{Caramel Apple Grapes from Very Culinary}



1 cup caramel bits

2 tablespoons heavy cream

handful of seedless green grapes

1 cup salted peanuts, crushed





  1. Poke toothpicks into the tops of each grape; set aside.


  1. In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine the caramel bits and cream. Stir until melted. Reduce heat to lowest setting just to keep warm.


  1. Place the peanuts in a shallow dish and dip the grapes into the caramel sauce and then roll in the crushed nuts. Place on a plate to set. Repeat until all the grapes are used.





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